Judge Michael McGuire

judge michael mcguire
Judge Michael's Sharing of Memories will be live streamed starting at 1:45 PM:
https://vimeo.com/event/2108176 Judge Michael O. McGuire, age 81, of Fargo, ND passed away Thursday, April 28, 2022 at Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, ND. Michael Owens McGuire was born on March, 21, 1941 in Bismarck, ND, the son of Milliard and Edith McGuire. The family moved around the area before settling in Fargo. Michael was united in marriage to Linda McGuire (Lein) on September, 20, 1967 at Messiah Lutheran Church in Fargo, ND. They have two children, Steven and Shannon. Michael graduated from Fargo Central High School in 1959. After high school, he served two years with the US Army. His specialty was in telecommunications. He was honorably discharged in 1961. Michael continued his education at Moorhead State University majoring in Psychology and graduating in 1967. He went on to earn his law degree at the University of North Dakota in 1971. Michael served in the Air National Guard as a military policeman during his college years. He furthered his education at the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada, Reno in 1979. After law school, Michael opened a law office in 1972 and specialized as a criminal defense attorney. Michael was elected to office as a Cass County Judge in 1978 and subsequently appointed District Judge of the East Central Judicial District in 1979. His many accomplishments over the years include contributing to law journals, helping found the first halfway house in North Dakota, serving on the board of directors of the Fargo Youth Commission, and instituting an after hours small clams court. Michael had the honor of sitting in on the North Dakota Supreme Court on several occasions. Michael was involved in many different activities. He appreciated classic cars, collecting and restoring some of his own. He was a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Michael took his vacations yearly to drive for Keuhl Brothers farms during the sugar beet harvest. In retirement, he bought a sailboat and enjoyed time at Detroit Lakes. He was a proud grandfather and attended every sporting event, recital, or achievement ceremony he could. Michael was preceded in death by his wife, Linda in 2018. He is survived by his children Steven McGuire, Fargo, and Shannon (McGuire) Burm, Fargo and grandchildren Madison Burm (19) and Brock Burm (16). He is also survived by his sister Patricia (Jay) Anderson, Georgetown, TX, nephew Tony, and nieces Randi and JoDee. Visitation will be held at 1:00pm on Wednesday, May 11 followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00pm at Boulger Funeral Home.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Shannon, Steven, and extended McGuire
    Family. So very sorry to hear about Micky. I talked to him not too long ago and was looking forward to buying his birthday dinner at the Fortune House. Jim and I have fund memories of he and Linda. He helped us during the flood and I will never forget his strong determination to get our generator going which hadn’t been running for years but his determination won and everyone cheered upon hearing the thing start. He also kept all of us entertained while trudging through and down a 6 foot slippery clay dike pushing a heaping load of filled sandbags yelling “GO BISON”. He kept us in good spirits considering we were fighting the Red River. Will miss him dearly and I know he and Jim are having a drink, reminiscing about 1959 Fargo Central memories and no doubt arguing about politics.
    Cookie Ebsen

  2. Words seem so small to express the sadness we feel about the your father’s death. Mike will be so missed. Just know we are here to support you in any way you need. Gary and Debi Lein

  3. My condolences to his family and friends. I interviewed Judge McGuire for a PoliSci class at NDSU in 1984 or 85, and I still remember his humorous comments about his Tae Kwon Do injuries. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

  4. Mike served as a great judge every time I appeared before him. And he was a bit of a mentor having started in the practice as Ramlo, Schuster, and McGuire. Those three had real nerve and skill to form a new and what became a successful law frim. This is a real loss to the legal community, the bench and, of course, family and friends.

  5. Mike graduated from the University of North Dakota Law School in 1972. I sent a notice to all of our class members. We mourn Mike’s passing and send our condolences to his family.

  6. May “flights of angels sing thee to thy rest” Judge. My condolences to your family.

  7. I knew Mike all through law school and he was a good friend. I remember talking with him during class breaks and having a lot of laughs. I had the privilege of appearing in his court several times, representing clients. We have lost a good man.

  8. Mike will be sorely missed. I met him when I was in law school, and he was a member of Schuster, Ramlo & McQuire. I got a chance to work with him as a private investigator on a case involving the constitutionality of North Dakota’s garnishment laws. I got to work with him on other criminal cases. I remember one day, he called me up and asked me to accompany him to the jail to meet a possibly derainged court appointment. He said he needed a body guard, and while I will admit, the guy was scary, I think Mike just needed an observer to get my opinion as to the fellow’s sanity. I later had the pleasure of appearing in his court many times when he later became a district court judge. Mike will surely be missed.

  9. In 1975, I was hired fresh out of school by the young law firm of Schuster, Ramlo, & McGuire where I promptly became Michael McGuire’s assistant. While I can’t say exactly why I was chosen for the position, I think it was because no one else wanted it. The tales of my predecessors concerning a certain Irish temper that would flare from time to time had not yet reached my ears and were not a consideration. The truth is my years working with Mike were good times, we got along very well, and I still remember how to spell “mass spectrometry” (not to mention how many times I had to type it in his drug defense pleadings). That Mike would actually WIN the election wasn’t in my thoughts when I hopped aboard his campaign for Cass County Judge, assisting with the task of screen printing huge, heavy plywood yard signs and pounding the streets distributing door hangers, but reality hit when Mike resigned and went off to his new position, with Wayne Anderson coming aboard to take his place. Rod Schuster and Wayne Anderson have both passed, and I am saddened to hear of Mike’s recent passing. They were all good men to work for and will remain in my thoughts always. Godspeed, Michael.

  10. Judge McGuire encouraged me to apply for the felony public defender contact. I was selected the 1st female felony public defender in North Dakota, Judge Norman Backes, presiding Judge. It was an awesome experience. I would hear tales of the Irish temper, that would make Attorneys shake. He wanted you dressed properly and prepared. I remember Keith Trader wearing the tux to court…it did not go well. Rip. He was one of a kind.

  11. I clerked for Judge Mike McGuire and the other East Central district court judges in 1996.

    Judge McGuire enjoyed the law. He made me feel welcome in the office. I specifically remember his making sure that I fully understood rescission of contracts, which was very helpful to me in me legal career.

    I’m sure he will be missed. Sympathies to his family.

  12. My condolences to your family. I first met Judge McGuire in the early 1980’s when I could barely find my way to the courthouse. As the years passed I appeared in his courtroom many times; he was always helpful and was when the case was over would answer questions and sometimes offer constructive criticism. After he retired I would occasionally run into him in Fargo or Detroit Lakes and more often than not we would talk about the old days at the courthouse. RIP Judge.

  13. Shannon and Steven,
    Please accept my sincerest sympathies at that loss of your dad. He and my dad were friends for many, many years, and I know that they both truly valued that friendship. My dad passed away just three days before yours and I know those two are somewhere together now catching up and having a few laughs.

  14. Michael’s family, our sympathies are with you. Bob and Carol King , classmates.

  15. Sorry to hear of mikes passing. As classmates we had some good times together. The last couple of years were tough.

  16. To many of us from the FHS Class of 1959, he was always “Mickey”. Mickey was one of my favorite classmates. We had fun in one of our classes sitting in the back row with a couple of other rascals, harassing the teacher. She finally put a stop to it but I never forgot him and his humor. Be at peace, Mickey.

  17. My sympathies to the family of Mike. I got to know Mike at many of the meetings of the Class of ’59, of which my husband was a classmate. He was always a delight to be around with many jokes to pass around. Will miss him at all the reunion meetings and reunions of the Class.

  18. In 1996, I was a new attorney. I had the pleasure of appearing before Judge McGuire. It was an experience I will never forget. Appearing before Judge McGuire, accelerated my growth as an attorney and my courtroom acumen. One of the greatest traits a judge can possess is having the ability to earn the attorneys’ respect. Everybody who appeared before Judge McGuire respected him and knew who was in charge. Some of my fondest courtroom memories and stories involve Judge McGuire.

    Rest in Peace, your Honor.

  19. Thank you everyone for sharing memories of my brother- Michael. Because of my stroke 2 years ago I am unable to travel to ND. So I do treasure your comments.
    Mike was very kind and loved, loved his family..

  20. My condolences to Mick’s family. He was a good friend of my brother and myself. I worked for his Dad when he was a salesman at Mhd Walkwork’s’. My sympathy! 💝

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